Christmas kittenA safe pet is a happy pet, and a happy pet is what pet owners strive for. It can be difficult to keep some pets from getting into trouble, though; and during the holiday season that task can be even more difficult than usual…

Keep Your Pets Safe in the Kitchen This Holiday Season

Many people’s kitchens are a bustling place this time of year. However, the kitchen can be a dangerous place for pet. In addition to dangers of sharp, hot, and “coming through!”, it is important to keep food items that can be hazardous to pets out of reach. Tasty holiday treats are often tempting to the four-legged members of our household and should be stored with care.

More common dangerous food items include:

  • Chocolate (can cause digestive upset, abnormal heart rhythms, and seizures)
  • Artificial sweeteners (Xylitol, in particular, causes a severe drop in blood sugar and liver problems)
  • Nuts (macadamia nuts especially can cause vomiting and other problems)
  • Raisins and grapes (some pets may experience kidney failure after ingestion)
  • Yeast doughs (ingestion can cause digestive upset, blockage, or even toxicity)

Likewise, be sure to keep your garbage in a secure, pet-safe location. Discarded meat packaging, cookie trimmings, and other holiday refuse make tasty but sometimes dangerous temptations for pets.

Make Your Holiday Decorations Pet Friendly

Decking the halls is a tradition in many homes for the holiday season. Be sure to keep your pets in mind as you decorate, however. Consider the following Christmas pet pitfalls:

The Tree – Christmas trees can be easy for determined pets to bring down, so make sure to secure your tree well. Pine needles from real or artificial trees can cause digestive problems if eaten, too. And, if you have a real tree be sure to prevent your pet from drinking the water, as there could be a variety of toxins lurking within.

Holiday PlantsHoliday plans such as holly, mistletoe, ivy, and lilies can be downright dangerous if ingested. The more common poinsettia can also cause digestive irritation and upset. Choose to not keep these plants in your home or place them in a pet-free location.

Decorative Lighting – Strands of lights are easy for pets to become tangled up in and can be dangerous if chewed. Open flames such as candles are also intriguing and hazardous for curious pets.

Garlands – Many people string popcorn, cranberries, or other goodies to create beautiful but dangerous decorations. Also beware of items like tinsel that can be tempting, especially for cats, and can easily lead to an intestinal obstruction of surgical proportions.

Gifts – Wrapping paper and ribbons are safety concerns if swallowed. Food items under the tree can be unsafe for those pets who just can’t wait for Christmas morning as well.

Keep Your Holiday Gatherings Pet Safe

It’s only natural that you should want to celebrate the season with your pets. If you’re planning a party or even just having a few close friends over, consider the following:

  • Allow them a safe, quiet refuge from the commotion
  • Being sure that they are wearing current identification
  • Let your guests know not to feed your pets
  • Keep your guests’ plates and cups out of reach
  • Be sure coats and purses are kept in an area your pet cannot access (there are all sorts of potential toxins lurking inside!)

By putting your pet’s best interest ahead of everything else, you can be sure this Christmas is a safe one for everyone in your home. We wish you and your family a very happy holiday this year!